Jamie Parker, Noma Dumezweni and Paul Thornley will lead the cast as Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley when Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens in London's west end next summer. Previews begin at the Palace Theatre in London on June 7, 2016, and four special preview performances will be held at the end of May 2016. Here's what author J.K. Rowling had to say about the casting in a statement to Pottermore.com.
"I'm so excited with the choice of casting for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I can't wait to see Jamie, Noma and Paul bring the adult Harry, Hermione and Ron to life on stage next summer."
Jamie Parker is the first actor to play Harry Potter on stage. Jamie is currently playing Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls at the Savoy Theatre, which recently transferred from Chichester Festival due to high critical acclaim. He originated the role of Scripps in The History Boys at the National Theatre, as well as the 2006 film adaptation, opposite Harry Potter actor Richard Griffiths. Previously, Jamie was on stage in High Society at the Old Vic, As You Like It at Shakespeare's Globe and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead for the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Olivier Award-winning actress Noma Dumezweni joins the cast as Hermione. She has received recent rave reviews for her performance in Penelope Skinner's hit play Linda at the Royal Court. Noma starred in both The Winter's Tale and Romeo and Juliet for the Royal Shakespeare Company and won an Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role as Ruth Younger in A Raisin In The Sun. Doctor Who fans will also recognize Noma as UNIT Captain Erisa Magambo. She will make her directing debut at the Royal Court Theatre in February 2016 with I See You by Mongiwekhaya.
Theatre, film and TV actor Paul Thornley will play Ron. He recently appeared in the role of Dodge in the film London Road, which was an adaptation of the National Theatre's award-winning play, where he originated the role. He has also appeared in Noises Off at the National Theatre, Piccadilly and Comedy Theatres, A Chorus of Disapproval at the Harold Pinter Theatre, Private Fears in Public Places at the Stephen Joseph Theatre and The Three Musketeers for Kingston Theatre. Further casting for the Company will be revealed at a later date. Readers and moviegoers last saw Harry waving off his children at Platform Nine and Three-Quarters in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Cursed Child will pick up the story, officially the eighth in the Harry Potter canon, after that moment.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new stage play based on an original story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, staged in two parts due to the 'epic nature of the story'.
Author J.K. Rowling also responded to the fans' reactions of Noma Dumezweni, a black actress being cast as Hermione Granger. The author reveals that it's never explicitly stated in her books that the character is white, and that she "loves black Hermione." In addition, we also have official photos of the actors before they get to work on this stage play in London. Take a look at these images, along with J.K. Rowling's tweet below.
Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione 😘 https://t.co/5fKX4InjTH— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 21, 2015